Diego Zannoni

The Liability Regime for Private Activities in Outer Space: Is There a Normative Gap?

Section: Treatises
Archiv des Völkerrechts (AVR)

Volume 59 () / Issue 1, pp. 1-26 (26)
Published 14.05.2021

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Private activities in outer space are on the rise and so is the risk of damage being caused as a result. The Outer Space Treaty regulates the liability for damage caused by space objects in Article VII, although this norm arguably leaves room for blind spots. Think of a partnership formed by private entities wishing to avoid the control of capable States and undertaking a launch from the high sea, for example. The attempt to coordinate the liability regime under Article VII OST with responsibility for space activities and registration of space objects under Articles VII and VIII respectively, is even more challenging. With a view to providing a systematic interpretation, this paper seeks to coordinate the various relevant articles of the Outer Space Treaty while exploring and exploiting existing disharmonies to strengthen the system rather than trying to find non-existent overlaps.

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